Incinerators

An incinerator is a drum or container with a mesh or solid lid designed to prevent the escape of hot ash or fire, and designed exclusively for incineration.

There are rules for using incinerators during a restricted fire season.  

  • Don’t light your fire within five metres of any part of a building, hedge, shelter belt or any other combustible material.
  • In case your fire gets out of control, you must have a suitable way to extinguish it within five metres of your incinerator, such as a garden hose.

Comply with the rules below to ensure your incinerator doesn’t pose a risk to people and properties.

Before you light your fire

Check the fire season - Visit checkitsalright.nz to find out the current fire season for the area where you plan your incinerator. Incinerators are banned in a prohibited fire season.

 
Open fire season -fires are allowed, but must be safe

 
Restricted fire season - fires may be allowed with a permit

 
Prohibited fire season
- no fires allowed

Other agency requirements - Check council websites for air quality rules, use restrictions including air shed zones and smoke nuisance guidelines. Incinerators are not permitted on Public Conservation Lands.

Safety zone - Put your incinerator on a stable, level, non-flammable surface such as a metal tray, gravel, concrete or dirt.  Keep your incinerator more than five metres from buildings and anything else that could catch alight and burn, e.g. plants, grasses, or branches.

Smoke - Place your incinerator so that smoke won’t impact others.

Extinguish - Keep a garden hose turned on or buckets of water within five metres of your incinerator. You need to be ready to put out your fire and extinguish any hot embers that escape.

Don’t light your incinerator if you have any doubts that it is safe.

When your fire is lit

Fuel - Only burn paper, wood and vegetation. Never burn rubbish, plastic, rubber or treated wood. These produce toxic fumes which are harmful to your health and the environment.

Fire control – Only light your fire during daylight hours and put it out before dark. If you need to leave your fire while it’s lit, put the lid on to keep it contained.

Supervise - Ensure someone stays with the incinerator until it’s put out. Have a ‘no go zone’ to keep children and pets safe.

Weather -  If a change to the wind direction or speed makes your incinerator unsafe — put it out.

Be responsible - You need to be able to take charge if there’s an emergency, and should not be impaired.

After your fire

Extinguish - Leave the fire to burn out. Put the lid on so sparks, embers, or burnt wood don’t escape and start a fire. When cool carefully place ashes and embers into a metal container and saturate with water.

Stir them and check they are cold before you properly dispose of them. Extinguished coals and ashes should be placed a safe distance from all structures and combustible materials.

Store - If you store your incinerator inside, let it cool down completely before storing.

Dial 111 immediately in an emergency. Anything that could cause loss of life, serious injury or loss of property is a fire emergency.